HD Minecraft texture packs are immensely popular for one reason: people want their Minecraft world to look as realistic as possible. There are other reasons too, but I like to live in a black and white world where diverse opinions and motivations can be summed up in one simple sentence, thus enabling me to move on with my description and review of this self proclaimed photo realistic HD Minecraft texture pack.
The first thing you’ll notice about LB’s HD texture pack is that is is available in several HD resolutions. Ideally you should use the 256 version if you’re looking for real photo realism, but this isn’t an ideal world and the 256 version might cause your computer’s face to melt off. If that’s the case, then you can use the 64 version, which incorporates many elements from Misa’s HD Texture Pack.
I should mention that I’m not usually a fan of the photo realistic HD texture packs. They tend to make Minecraft look somehow more fake than ever. That’s mostly because many of the original ‘HD texture packs’ were ripped from Google Images and felt all kinds of hinky. HD textures have come a long way since those early days and are now certainly worth a look.
I installed the 256 version of this texture pack, and found that it worked, though it did slow down start up considerably. I did still get a fairly respectable 85 fps however, which one should hardly sneer and shake a rotten stick at. Something was up with the grass, which looked weird, but the creator does say that one should install Better Grass, which I didn’t have installed at the time, so that might have been the reason for that.
Bricks were awesome. I’ve always liked the idea of building with brick, but bricks usually look wildly gaudy and out of place in most Minecraft texture packs (including the default). Bricks are one element of this texture pack that I feel are done really well. I also like glass, which is very slick and modern looking, being entirely clear with a black frame. Basically what I’m really saying is that if you’ve been trying to design a New York loft for ages, this is the texture pack to do it with.
I’m going to have a gripe about the wooden plank textures, not because they’re specifically bad in this pack, but because this HD texture pack handles them in the way so many others do – making them look gritty, as if they were hewn by a rough woodsman with an addiction to something scarce. I just don’t understand why we can’t have nice clean looking HD floorboards, that’s all. Is a little bit of sandpaper and varnish too much to ask?
Water effects are gorgeous up close, but from a distance look like a bunch of pixels punching each other in their pixel arms. Wood is awesome, with real rings, so you’re keenly aware that every tree in your Minecraft world is approximately 50 years old.
This texture pack has all the drawbacks of photo realistic texture packs, some textures are markedly better than others, some work better up close than they do at a distance and some will rock your world. It’s not the best HD texture pack I’ve ever tried, but it could be a lot worse.
NOTE TO ANYONE EXPERIENCING CRASHES:
After the 1.6 update a lot of people with relatively low memory (2 GB being the absolute minimum you need to run Minecraft these days) started having trouble with HD texture packs causing crashes. If you can’t get a 256 x or a 128 x to run anymore, go to a 64 x or upgrade your RAM. Yes, there’s a fix in the comments for allocating more RAM to Minecraft, but that only works if you have the RAM to allocate.